|In addition to what might be considered its more common use of determining flight planning and FMC performance factors, cruise performance monitoring can help airlines identify and solve in-service performance problems. Often, performance monitoring will identify a need for Boeing to assist in determining the solution to a given in-service problem. However, with a good understanding of the monitoring process and the interactions among the variables involved, airlines can do a significant amount of their own problem diagnosing and solving.|
|AIRLINES USE CRUISE PERFORMANCE MONITORING TO DECREASE OPERATING COSTS.||by Dave Anderson,Flight Operations Engineer,
and Carolyn Hanreiter, Aerodynamics Engineer
Cruise performance monitoring has been used for many years by airlines that strive to operate their airplanes as efficiently as possible. These airlines know that continuous cruise performance monitoring of airplanes in their fleets can decrease operating costs relative to airlines that do not monitor airplane performance levels. Continuous cruise performance monitoring can give airlines the information they need to:
- Adjust the baseline performance levels they use for flight planning and flight management computer (FMC) fuel-required predictions so that the correct amount of fuel is loaded on each and every flight.
- Identify normal deterioration for a fleet of airplanes.
- Match the airplanes that perform best to their longest routes.
- Identify high fuel burning airplanes for possible maintenance.
- Validate performance degradation for extended twin-engine operations (ETOPS) critical fuel reserves planning (in lieu of the regulatory requirement of 5 percent fuel mileage deterioration allowance).
- Increase flight crew confidence in flight plans and possibly decrease the amount of discretionary fuel requested and loaded.
An additional, less recognized benefit of cruise performance monitoring is diagnosing and solving various airplane performance problems or issues.These case studies show how cruise performance monitoring was used to determine solutions to three different problems.